November 16, 2022 //
If you and your management team’s strategic plan includes buying a business, you’re starting in a good place right here.
In this space, I want to share some insights my team, and I have learned over years of walking our clients successfully through this process. I want to offer you some help that will see you travel successfully from the start of the acquisition process to the finish line with the best possible outcome in mind.
While this might sound self-serving – it’s not …. there’s really just one right way to begin: find the best M&A advisors who will be with you right from the start; these aren’t waters you want to swim alone.
There are three basic steps in the process of (smartly) buying a new business:
STEP ONE: PREPARATION
STEP TWO: MARKET OUTREACH
STEP THREE: CLOSING THE DEAL
I’ll get into each stage in fine detail in subsequent posts, but let me tell you why it’s critical to have good M&A Advisors at your side at every step.
If you want to buy a business wisely, with the benefits for you and your company maximized, you need to be impeccably prepared. This is not a small undertaking, and I firmly believe that the strength of your completed deal hinges on the quality of work you do in the preparatory phase. Cut corners at your peril.
Make sure that you don’t go it alone.
You want to bring the best M&A Advisors on board here because the best M&A Advisors know:
In this step, you’ll begin “treasure hunting” for your new business, but it’s not like flipping through an online catalog.
The first step in the process got you prepared to face the marketplace, and now that the search has begun in earnest, you want experienced M&A Advisors with you because:
Getting any acquisition over the finish line is an intricate, multi-faceted process. You want skilled M&A Advisors at your side for this stage because:
You’ll be grateful for a committed team of advisors even after the deal is done. Post-deal integration of the new with the old isn’t always naturally easy or successful. I liken it to successfully beginning a blended family: you can’t just throw everyone into bunk beds and hope for the best.
There are a lot of new points of contact that must be managed, lots of potential for unpredicted friction, and a guarantee of some curve balls no matter how smooth the acquisition process may otherwise be.
At Stillwater, we’re very aware that the process of buying a business isn’t really complete just because the papers have been signed.
Incredible M&A Advisors, like those at Stillwater, will offer you tools and resources to help make post-deal integration run smoothly.
In subsequent posts, I’ll dig into the specifics of each step in this process and offer you some observations I’ve collected over years of negotiating and closing deals. Still, it really all starts with one piece of advice, advice I urge you not to ignore:
Don’t settle for M&A Advisors who only seem ready to show up when there are forms to fill out, contracts to be signed (and cheques to be cashed). You want a team of advisors who act as partners with you at every step of the process, beginning to end. Partners, not “Yes Men.”
That’s what we offer at Stillwater: a dedicated team as partners in the process.
You can start the conversation with us here.